6.8/10
1,261
37 user 19 critic

City That Never Sleeps (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 12 June 1953 (USA)
Johnny Kelly, who plans on resigning from the police force and leaving his wife the next day, has a very eventful last night on duty.

Director:

John H. Auer

Writer:

Steve Fisher
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gig Young ... Johnny Kelly
Mala Powers ... Sally 'Angel Face' Connors
William Talman ... Hayes Stewart
Edward Arnold ... Penrod Biddel
Chill Wills ... Sgt. Joe - the 'Voice of Chicago'
Marie Windsor ... Lydia Biddel
Paula Raymond ... Kathy Kelly
Otto Hulett ... Sgt. John 'Pop' Kelly Sr.
Wally Cassell ... Gregg Warren
Ron Hagerthy ... Stubby Kelly
James Andelin James Andelin ... Lt. Parker
Tom Poston ... Detective (as Thomas Poston)
Bunny Kacher Bunny Kacher ... Agnes DuBois
Philip L. Boddy Philip L. Boddy ... Maitre d'Hotel
Thomas Jones Thomas Jones ... Fancy Dan
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Storyline

Chicago cop Johnny Kelly, dissatisfied with his job and marriage, would like to run away with his stripper girlfriend Angel Face, but keeps getting cold feet. During one crowded night, Angel Face decides she's had enough vacillation, and crooked lawyer Biddel has an illegal mission for Johnny that could put him in a financial position to act. But other, conflicting schemes are also in progress... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...from the Honky Tonks to the penthouses...the creeps, the hoods, the killers come out to war with the city!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The police car is a 1952 Ford Mainline. This was Ford's base model, below the Customline and the Crestline. See more »

Goofs

Stuntman Dale Van Sickel is clearly seen instead of actor William Talman in the shot where Hayes Stewart jumps over the skylight during the rooftop chase. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sgt. Joe, the 'Voice of Chicago': I am the city, the hub and heart of America...
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Crazy Credits

This motion picture is respectfully dedicated to the police and police departments of America - a brave army of men and women who form our first line of defense in preserving our sacred principles of personal liberty and justice. We gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance given by the City of Chicago and its police and Police Department, whose cooperation made this picture possible. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse (2010) See more »

User Reviews

 
Night and the CIty
12 June 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS tries hard to be a major film noir, and does not quite make it. If THE RACKET had a promising central figure at sixes and sevens with the legal and illegal authorities, but no character development to explain how he got the way he did, CITY tries to be a film noir variant of those films like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or AN INSPECTOR CALLS where characters are not quite human, and are intermingling (and bedeviling) humans and their motivations.

We are watching Gig Young, a career cop from a family of cops, who is slowly being corrupted by crooked big - time lawyer Edward Arnold. Young is basically acting like a go-between between Arnold and the police, tipping the lawyer off about current investigations. He does get well paid for this, but he has to deal with Arnold's right hand man William Talman, who is not to be trusted. Young does not like Talman's cultivating Young's younger brother - possibly turning him into a complete criminal. He does not realize that Talman is also working in cahoots with Arnold's trophy wife (Marie Windsor) to get the upper hand over the lawyer. Young's own behavior is not really liked by his father, an honest old style cop who is regarded as a hero by the department.

You can see that the situation is going to lead to disaster. Young is working an evening shift, and his partner is unable to show up. An unknown Police Sergeant (Chill Wills) takes the partner's place, and the two go around the night world of the city. And while they do so, both are unaware of the explosions about to rend apart the worlds of Arnold, Windsor, and Talman - and dragging in Young's younger brother.

Some things to watch in the film: Talman (having shot someone) is aware that the only "witness" is a figure in a window. Is it a mechanical man or a real witness? Talman has to spend hours watching, and to see if the figure remains "mechanical" or not.

See also the sequence where Young chases Talman along a deserted set of elevated train tracks through Chicago. It is a tense and exciting sequence.

Finally, note the appearance (in his first movie role according to this board) of comedian Tom Poston as a police officer, who gets involved in a situation that is far from amusing. It's an odd first role for such a funny figure to have played at all.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City That Never Sleeps See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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